truthI never liked the word polyamorous or the social stigma that came with it. This along with the years of pressure to live the white-picket-fence lifestyle meant I worked for years to exemplify that ideal. The moment l I had it all is when things started falling apart.

I started letting go of expectations and re-discovering myself – this time without judgement or shame. I started reading books such as the Ethical Slut and Opening Up as well as having endless conversations with the limited number of people I knew who were already in open relationships.

Podcasts for me turned from a business focus to hanging on every word Dan Savage said and embodying his GGG (Good, Giving, and Game) approach to partners and relationships. The more questions I asked friends the more questions came flooding into my head. New relationships spawned new feelings and experiences such as jealousy, boundary setting, and hell even just knowing what boundaries to set or talk about.

Then there was the kink community. This has been a part of me my entire life but something I only recently openly engaged. The variety astounded me. There’s people who are private about their lives, people who are open with friends, and exibitionists who are very public about how they feel and what they want. People who like impact play and others who enjoy complicated scenes. I found an even more limited number, like me, enjoyed the mental side of play. My head was spinning when I started learning about sub-genres I never even considered existing.

The hardest part about living an open relationship with kink-positive people for me is knowing what questions to ask. I felt as if I had suddenly slipped into a relationship that no one had prepared me for and few people ever talked about. The public shame associated with alternative relationships is sad considering the number of these same people buying copy-after-copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (a book I can’t bring myself to read.)

Life over the last few months has been a roller coaster of self-discovery. I’m thankful for the small handful of experienced friends and those just present for me. It’s not easy taking the road less traveled but it helps to have not one but a network of friends who help me walk that road.

When I feel like giving up or letting off the throttle, I remember Let Robert Frost’s poem:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

If there’s any advice I can share, it’s to be true to yourself and to those you love. Follow your heart and be open to loss. I guarantee you it’s only the beginning, and what lies over the next hill is more rewarding than anything you can imagine.

Also, reach out to others. There’s more people like you out there than you think. Many more.

 

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